David Mamet is defending longtime friend Felicity Huffman and her husband, Shameless actor William H. Macy, following the actress’ indictment Tuesday in a wide-reaching college admissions bribery scandal.
In an open letter, the Oscar-nominated writer of Wag the Dog and The Verdict wrote that he’s known Huffman for 35 years and is “crazy” about the former Desperate Housewives star and her husband, with whom he started the Off Broadway Atlantic Theatre Company.
Huffman and Full House actress Lori Loughlin and 48 other high-profile individuals were indicted in connection with a federal college admissions cheating investigation. They allegedly participated in a nationwide conspiracy to get students admitted to top colleges including Georgetown, Stanford, USC and Yale, according to a federal indictment.
Mamet blamed Huffman’s alleged role in the admissions scheme on “a parent’s zeal for her children’s future” and called the situation “unfortunate.” He added that he’s worked “in and around our Elite Universities” for many years and their admissions policies are a “corrupt joke.”
Here’s Mamet’s full letter:
I worked for very many years in and around our Elite Universities. I am able to report that their admissions policies are an unfortunate and corrupt joke.
Harvard was once sued for restricting the admission of qualified Jews; a contest currently being waged by Asians.
The unqualified may be accepted for many reasons, among them, as Legacies, and on account of large donations made by their parents. I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else. But, apparently, the second is against the Law. So be it.
I’ve known and worked with Bill Macy for nearly fifty years. We started two theatre companies together, one of which, THE ATLANTIC is still in operation in New York, after 35 years. I’ve known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays.
I’m crazy about them both.
That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon.
If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: “Not Guilty, but Don’t do it Again.”